The Retirement Cottage
In Germany, when the elderly owners of a farm transferred their property to the next generation, they would move out from the main dwelling into a smaller retirement cottage,called Altenteiler- or Auszugshaus. This was generally a separate building on the estate. The cottage could also be used by unmarried male siblings or relatives of the estate’s heir. In the realm of the Bishopric of Fulda, a farm estate could not be divided among heirs and was transferred only as a whole to a single heir. By the 19th century at the latest, the life estate was stipulated everywhere in a deed of conveyance that laid down the rights and duties of the parties and was possibly a frequent cause of dispute. Apart from confirming the retiring farmer’s right to abode, the deed generally listed in detail the provision of food and firewood. This could include the amount and delivery of firewood to the cottage.
The house from Sieblos lets visitors see how elderly farmers lived and kept house in their byre-dwelling.